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Bush oppo research warmup

There's nothing particularly interesting in this column by John Podhoretz from Monday, except an indication of the magnitude of the Bush opposition research project on John Kerry:

February 23, 2004 -- JOHN Kerry arrives in New York today. Our city is an old stomping ground of his, of course. He used to hang out at 156 Fifth Avenue - the headquarters of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Kerry was present at those offices in September 1970, when the group decided to write then-Mayor John V. Lindsay and demand that the city refuse to welcome another organization, one dedicated to representing other American servicemen.

The group John Kerry and his associates were protesting was The National Guard Association, which had its 1970 convention in New York at the Americana Hotel...

A guy like Podhoretz obviously doesn't do any actual research or thinking of his own. (I say "obviously" because he is the author of an obsequious Valentine called Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane, and otherwise undistinguished.) So this is a straight shot from the Bush-Cheney campaign, opposition research department.

Opposition research is really a matter of creativity, of using the imagination to come up with what strange corner of the world's libraries and document collections might contain some incriminating nugget. And the motherlode referred to here -- which actually has nothing to do with anything that John Kerry ever said or thought -- is the complete minutes of the meetings of Vietnam Veterans Against the War in the early 1970s, at least some of which Kerry was present for.

According to this remarkable site, The Sixties Project, VVAW more or less fell apart in the mid-1970s, and a "radical Marxist wing" split off into a new organization called VVAW-AI (Anti-Imperialist), leading to litigation about the right to use the VVAW name. When a group splits off into a radical Marxist wing, it's probably a good indication that many stupid, crazy and probably offensive things were said at the meetings that preceded the split. They have nothing to do with John Kerry, of course, but we should be prepared to hear a lot more about them between now and November.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on February 25, 2004 | Permalink


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Kerry's past is long and deep. I'm sure that there will be lots of "mud" dug up with plenty of mock horror on the side.

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Posted by: Joshua | Dec 21, 2004 5:36:05 PM